Saturday 01st November 2014,
MobileTechPinoy

Starmobile Engage 7HD: Premium Looks on a Budget

JM Balicano December 20, 2012 Previews 74 Comments

Starmobile Engage 7HD Price Specs

When it comes to tablets, consumers in the Philippines have a number of budget options to choose from that don’t compromise too much in the performance department. In fact, you can get a dual core tablet in the Php6-7k range if you know where to look that can compete with the likes of the Galaxy Tab 2. However, there is one thing that I’ve yet to see in any of the locally rebranded or imported sub-Php10k tablets here in the Philippines: a premium look and feel. That is, until the Starmobile Engage 7HD came along.

The Design: Surprisingly Premium for the Price

Starmobile Engage 7HD Premium Design

In addition to kicking butt performance-wise, the best tablets are able to create an impact on other people with just a glimpse of their premium materials or stylish design. It’s just not possible to whip out something by Coby or Ainol and get that same response. However the Starmobile Engage 7HD is a different story with its brushed metal shell and modern design that gives it an identity all its own. Most other budget Android tablets sport a generic, nondescript design, but not so with the Engage 7HD. It has some aggressive styling, despite the elegant appearance of the materials. I seriously wouldn’t be afraid be afraid to take this out at a Starbucks in the midst of all those iPad and Galaxy Tab users.

The Display: IPS for Wide Angles

Starmoble Engage 7HD Wide Angle

Another thing that the Starmobile Engage 7HD has going for it is its 1280 x 800 HD resolution IPS display. IPS stands for in-plane switching and is a kind of LCD technology that allows for more accurate color reproduction and wider viewing angles. IPS is all the rage right now, even on budget devices, and it’s a good thing the Engage 7HD sports it. At that resolution, the Engage 7HD has a pixel density of about 216ppi. That’s pretty good for what’s considered to be a budget tablet, especially when a majority of the 7 inch budget tablets in the local market only have a resolution of 800 x 480. A higher resolution means you’ll be able to see more of a website onscreen, and that kind of pixel density will allow for more detail for things like movies, games and reading text because of the greater perceived sharpness.

Performance: At That Price? Sold!

The Starmobile Engage 7HD isn’t just about looks though. It’s powered by a 1.2GHz dual core AML8726-MX CPU and Mali-400 GPU to go along with 1Gb of RAM. That dual core chip might not be the fastest, but it’ll give you close to the same performance as a Galaxy Tab 2. That Mali-400 GPU is quite respectable considering it also powers the graphics on my Galaxy Note. The chipset should be good enough to provide snappy navigation through the UI and run all your favorite apps. The Mali-400 might be a bit aged, but I’ve been able to play The Dark Knight on it, even if the framerates would drop to a crawl in some scenes. Games like Dead Trigger and Shadowgun shouldn’t be a problem though.

Wireless Connectivity: WiFi Only Tablet

Update: GPS is not verified on the spec sheets, only A-GPS. The spec sheet I copied is from Kristn.com, which listed it as having GPS. My apologies for the mixup.

For most of your wireless browsing and downloading though, you’ll have to rely on WiFi 802.11 b/g/n. One thing that I especially like is that the Starmobile Engage 7HD also comes with GPS, so it can double as your car’s navigation system that you can just prop inside a car dock A-GPS. Car owners should definitely consider maximizing this feature. Of course, being a budget tablet, the Engage 7HD does make a few compromises in the wireless connectivity department. There’s no Bluetooth for file transfers or to connect peripherals like a Bluetooth headset or keyboard. There’s also no built in 3G, but you do get a USB On-The-Go cable that you can connect a 3.5G broadband modem to. You can also use it with a mouse or keyboard if you really want to get productive on this tablet.

Imaging: 8mp and 720 Recording

Starmobile Engage 7HD Camera

I don’t actually care too much about snapping pictures using a tablet, but if you do, the Starmobile 7HD sports an 8mp snapper with LED flash. It hasn’t been specified if it’s an autofocus unit or not, but users will easily get tired of snapping pictures on the Engage 7HD. A tablet is much more unwieldy to handle when you’re using it as a camera anyway. At least that feature’s there if you need it, along with 720 recording for videos. For video chats, you’ll also get a VGA front-facing camera. That should be enough for your typical Skype session, but people who like to take self-shots for their Facebook profile pics will be left a little wanting.

Battery Life

The Starmobile Engage 7HD has a 4,000mAh battery, which is just okay. It’s officially rated to provide enough juice for 5 hours of video playback and 400 hours on standby. Of course, who knows what that would translate to in terms of real world usage.

Should You Buy It?

At that price, it’s hard to go wrong with the Engage 7HD. The only reason I can think of not to buy this tablet is if you have a Bluetooth accessory that you want to pair with it. The closest competitor from a trusted brand would have to be the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 WiFi-only model, and that will set you back Php12k without the premium looks. Too bad I can’t afford to get one yet, but if you have Php8,000 that you want to shell out this Christmas then strongly consider getting the Starmobile Engage 7HD for yourself.

Starmobile Engage 7HD Specs

  • 7 inch IPS capacitive display at 1280 x 800 resolution (216ppi)
  • 1.2GHz dual core AML8726-MX CPU
  • Mali-400 GPU
  • Android 4.0 ICS
  • 1Gb RAM
  • 8Gb internal storage, expandable up to 32Gb
  • WiFi b/g/n
  • GPS with A-GPS support
  • USB On-The-Go cable (supports 3.5G modems)
  • 4,000mAh battery (5 hours video playback, 400 hours standby)
  • Price: Php7,999
  • Availability: Out Now!

Source: Starmobile Facebook Page, Starmobile on Youtube, Kristn

About The Author

The first phone I fell in love with was the humble Samsung Star. It was technically just a feature phone at the time, but it's functionality and user-friendly UI would often deceive me into believing I was in control of something much more powerful than its price tag would indicate. These days, it's the Galaxy Note that I play around with, but there's still a lot of tech that I can't afford. Boy, do I wish I had an unlimited bank account..

  • raz

    do you have a review of a tablet called royqueen tablet pc? im trying to weigh down the two since it fits my budget of under P8k.

    hoping to get a response of what is the betterr tablet to buy this holiday season aside from the engage 7hd.

    royqueen tablet specs:

    – Android 4.1.1 Jellybean OS
    – 1.6Ghz Dual Core, Rockchip rk3066 chipset, Arm Cortex A9 processor + quadcore Mali 400 GPU
    – 1gb RAM DDR3
    – 8GB Nandflash
    – 7 inch 16:9 5 point capacitive touchscreen
    – Bluetooth
    – 3000 mah battery
    – 800×480 pixels, 720p hd

    other specs are the same with the engage 7hd except HDMI support.

    • http://mobiletechpinoy.com/ JM Balicano

      The Royqueen doesn’t have a very good screen. The resolution on it is only 800×480, whereas the Engage 7HD is 1280×800.

      That 720p HD in the specs of the Royqueen means it can output HD quality video to an external monitor, but the screen of the tablet itself won’t be very sharp.

      If you’re looking for looking for a cheaper alternative to the Engage 7HD, consider the PiPo Ultra U1. Similar specs, but it has bluetooth too. It won’t look anywhere near as good as the Engage 7HD in terms of design though.

      Hope this helps :)

    • Jonn

      On the other hand, these are the advantages of RoyQueen over Engage 7HD
      – Android 4.1.1 Jellybean OS
      – 1.6Ghz Dual Core, Rockchip rk3066 chipset, Arm Cortex A9 processor + quadcore Mali 400 GPU
      – Bluetooth

  • raz

    i see. it has superb design though. i’ve personally tried the royqueen tab recently and i amazed how fast it is when scrolling, swipe, its rotation abilities, and the thing i’m attracted the most is its power since it has 1.6ghz dual core cortex a9 & quadcore mali gpu and the jellybean os w/c is simply fluid & fast, good for high graphic intensive games. with the engage hd, it has ICS but i’m gonna ask, can the engage hd can be upgraded to jellybean? if yes, i will seriously buy the engage hd.

    as for the pipo tab, it also caught my attentionfor its seamless performance, but i’m not sure if its available here in davao. there’s the s1 but its a little more expensive, costs morer than 8k.

    hope i can see from youtuce any review with the unit of engage hd..tnx!

  • gearz

    mali 400 for amlogic is only dual compared to quad for note1/2, s3. at least we still get a good performing gpu.

    • http://mobiletechpinoy.com/ JM Balicano

      Thanks for clarifying. Weird that the S3 is so popular despite being a little behind in the graphics department. The Mali 400 is decent, but it’s been out for a while.

  • raz

    i already bought the engage hd. when i downloaded dead trigger from play store, it showed not compatbile on this device. hope i can have a little help here and hope to see a review of popular fps games on this device…

    • http://mobiletechpinoy.com/ JM Balicano

      How weird. My Note has the exact same resolution as the Engage 7HD.

  • raz

    well, its an apk dead trigger. i will go back to starmobile for tech support since when i try to install apps from play store, error connection from server appears. they say its the wifi, but i’m not sure because when i surf the net, it seems fine, just when you tap install error from server occurs. i’m trying to get an apk of modern combat 3. i hope someone here has links from an apk to share with, maybe nba 2k13? maybe you hve that kind of games in your note. but overall the engage hd is quite good especially the hd videos. really nice…

    i’m more of a gamer, i hope someone can share games here. tnx!

    • http://mobiletechpinoy.com/ JM Balicano

      Hi, sorry I can’t directly post links to APK files because technically, it’s piracy and it’ll get you and me in trouble. Google is your friend! Man, I wish I had a tablet..

  • raz

    hehe! i hope you can send it to my email.hehe!

  • Johann

    have you tried using bluetooth dongle for this tablet? i see there’s a USB OTG wire with it,and it can support a 3G dongle..is there any chance that it can also support the bluetooth dongles sold at local computer accessories store? or any app that can support that accessory? (because some pc,especially old ones doesn’t have the required drivers)i really wanted this tablet, but the file sharing capability is short due the lack of bluetooth in its hood..

    • http://mobiletechpinoy.com/ JM Balicano

      I’m aware that it doesn’t officially support bluetooth dongles. Sorry :(

  • Grimeyes

    Hi. Raz’s comments really gives me doubts about buying this. I was wondering, did the copy you guys used for reviewing this also have problems when it comes to installing apps from the play store?

    @Raz

    Were you able to install anything from the play store?

    • http://mobiletechpinoy.com/ JM Balicano

      We weren’t lent a review copy. This is basically just a preview of the Engage 7HD. Also, if you’ll check Raz’s follow up comment, he mentioned that he installed Dead Trigger from an APK file.

      • Grimeyes

        Thanks for the reply man. Guess I’ll just wait a month and see if any other problems crop up before buying this.

  • Jojo

    it says in the box that this unit has A-GPS, but i cannot find where to enable it

    • http://mobiletechpinoy.com/ JM Balicano

      Go to the System Settings and look for Location Services

      • Jojo

        is it possible to have A-GPS without GPS sensor? It only has Google location services

        • http://mobiletechpinoy.com/ JM Balicano

          Yeah, my old MyPhone A818 was that way. A-GPS helps speed up regular GPS so the satellites can achieve a faster lock. But A-GPS can also work to get a rough estimation of your location based on information from the network you are connected to (Wifi/3G) on its own.

          • Jojo

            Baka you mean Location service, not A-GPS

          • http://mobiletechpinoy.com/ JM Balicano

            My bad. Yeah, you’re right. Anyway strictly speaking, A-GPS data is used to help achieve a GPS (satellite) lock, so if there is no GPS, Starmobile shouldn’t even be putting A-GPS on the box :-/

  • raz

    i can already install apss from the play store. i had the unit replaced from starmobile & now works perfectly. the technician also advised me to create another google accnt since error in downloading os also the problem on some users on starmobile’s fb page. i’ve yet to download additional data for my apk files since it requires wifi. i have nba 2k13, nba jam, shadowgun, modern combat 4, dead trigger.

    i just have to go some place with wifi so i can download additional data, but its all good now. i’m more of a gamer, so lack of bluetooth doesn’t really bother me, but sometimes it does…

  • raz

    @grimeyes. yes i did install few games from the playstore. just a few because some graphic intensive games i have requires a lot of memory, especiallt modern combat and nba 2k13. i only have 4gb sd card, so i don’t know how it will fare once it will be completed…

    • http://mobiletechpinoy.com/ JM Balicano

      Awesome! You’re going to have to get a bigger card though. Kingcom sells a class 6 16gb Micro SD card for just Php649.

  • raz

    i see. nba 2k13, shadow gun, dead trigger, nba jam can be managed to the internal storage. i will just save modern combat to the sd card since it will require 1.2 or 1.5 gb of additional data. gotta find a place with fast wifi connection though…

  • http://usapangtekno@gmail.com Alexus

    How about Ainol Novo 7 Flame? I made a comparison here: http://usapangtekno.blogspot.com/2012/12/starmobile-engage-7hd-vs-ainol-novo-7.html

  • Luis Matias

    Got one today. My complain is the screencapture button. It is so misplaced. Very annoying since you can accidentally press this. Wanna return the unit. Is there a way to disable/remove this? Thanks

    • http://mobiletechpinoy.com/ JM Balicano

      Hi, I’m not sure if this will work for the ICS build that the Engage 7HD uses, but try going to Settings > Screen > Quick Launch. You can at least make that button do something less annoying. Hopefully, this will work for you.

      • Luis Matias

        Thank you for the reply. Very disappointing that the 7HD ICS build did not include this option. Hoping for an update.

        • http://mobiletechpinoy.com/ JM Balicano

          Aw shoot. Sorry to hear that :(

  • Jonn

    I own one, and there is no comprehensive guide on how to properly root this device?

    • http://mobiletechpinoy.com/ JM Balicano

      None that I know of yet. You might want to check out symbianize.com if there are some user threads there yet that discuss rooting the Engage 7HD. It’s the first place I would usually head to for resources on a specific device.

  • arby

    Got one too today aftr i fully chrged it download sme games but to my dismay andali malobat download after 2hrs almost half empty na wat the hell. Agad agd …??? Amblis pa uminit ng init ! Kala ko ba 4000mah to prng ,as mtgal pa ung cp ko dto eh. Is der smtng wrong wth d unt kya..?

  • arby

    Ganu ktgal nio nggmit tab nio pls do reply -wana gv it back hmmm

    • Luis Matias

      Pareho tayo, madaling mag-lowbat. Kaya lang hindi umiinit kaadad.

      • arby

        Kains nmn pero nklgay nmn normal lng dw yun hmmm ovrused kya ako :-)

  • janice arizobal

    hi do you know how to hard reset? accidentally my son play on my pattern lock and 5 times nya kinalikot kaya ngblock sya when i switch off and on again the tab requires the google account that i register on this tab but then when i entered the said requirement still ayaw nya gumana help kabibili ko pa lng ng tab na to last december 21, 2012…

    • http://mobiletechpinoy.com/ JM Balicano

      Sorry, I don’t know any other way around that except by entering your Google info. Try looking for an Engage 7HD user group on Facebook or Symbianize.com.

  • jingmit

    Hi i have an engage 7hd and bought it 2 weeks ago, do u know how to make the external micro sd primary because when i started transferring apps or move them to sd it only moved to the internal sd. i see it pointless on having a expandable micro sd slot of i couldn’t make use of it. what should i do? thanks in advance

  • argento

    plamning to buy this unit just a question gaano katagal magcharge from 10% to 100% kasi sa astra ko matagal magcharge almost 4 hrs ty po sa pagsagot

  • M@zingerZ

    meron na ba 10 inch tab version? how much, if any?
    yun ba USB OTG can read media or doc files from USB flash drives o kailangan i-root pa?

    • http://mobiletechpinoy.com/ JM Balicano

      No 10 inch version of this. There’s an Engage 9, but it’s the bigger brother of the original Engage 7, not the 7HD.

      From what I’m aware, the USB on the go feature does allow tablets to read from flash drives, as well as connect to broadband sticks like those Globe Tatoo sticks. USB Bluetooth adapters don’t always work.

  • Bernard

    Hi! Do you know any other 7″ tab that i can use as alternative with engage 7hd and is still at the same price range?

    And also for 9.7″ i really prefer the bigger screen.

    thanks for the reply.!

    • http://mobiletechpinoy.com/ JM Balicano

      Try looking at the 10 inch Pipo M3 and the 7 inch Pipo Ultra U1 Pro. Both have jelly bean 4.1 and bluetooth.

  • Jake

    before you complain about the battery you should concider that 4000maH isn’t just enough juice to power up this device til the next 24 hrs. dual core eh, mas malaki screen compare sa phone mo ang liit, 4-core rendering mali400 gpu. hmp

    my only complain is the 4″ Display is said the have the IPS Technology. But to my surprise.. It’s actually not an IPS Display. muka lang siyang ordinaryong lcd backlit at high brightness.

  • http://www.mobiletechpinoy.com joven

    JM Balicano :4 days ko palang nabili ung engage 7hd pero nag hang agad. hindi na magfunction yung power tapos andaling uminit..nagsisi talaga ako bat bumili pa ako ng unit na to…hindi kc mareset para mgstart ulit,mghintay ka pa na mag empty tas charge ulit,,haay!!

    • http://mobiletechpinoy.com/ JM Balicano

      aghuy. pacheck nyo po agad sa service center. may 1 week replacement naman kung masyadong faulty ang unit.

  • kailee

    hi JM pd ba downloadable ba ang viber sa 7HD kung oo how?

    • http://mobiletechpinoy.com/ JM Balicano

      not sure if it’s compatible with Viber, but it should be. Just use download it free from the Google Play store.

  • Jenaries

    I would like to ask regarding starmobile engage 7 HD.the problem was forget pattern and now asking for gmail account.Purchased 1 week.Please help me.thank you

    • http://mobiletechpinoy.com/ JM Balicano

      if you registered a gmail account on the device already, such as the one you would set up to access the Play Store, you can use in your login details from that. Otherwise, try taking it to a service center and make sure to bring a receipt.

  • Jenaries

    May keys po ba na i press para sa hard reset at matanggal na ang gmail or pattern?

    • http://mobiletechpinoy.com/ JM Balicano

      nde ko po alam eh.

  • Jenaries

    Malayo po service center sa amin Sir.meron po akong livesuit.Hindi ko lang po sure kung same ang procedure ng flashing engage 7 sa engage 7hd?then ung firmaware kung same din ba?

    • http://mobiletechpinoy.com/ JM Balicano

      hindi ko din po alam eh. try searching symbianize.com and see if there’s a thread there related to unlocking the engage 7hd

  • recx

    ask ko lang po sana pano at saan po pwede mag-download ng nba2k13 para po sa starmobile engage 7hd? thanks!

    • http://mobiletechpinoy.com/ JM Balicano

      na-try nyo na po idownload from Google Play? sorry, wala po akong alam na alternative sources.

  • recx

    wala po sa google play e :(
    btw, ok po ba ang pipo tab? we are interested to buy one. what are the pros and cons of pipo tab? please advise. thanks!

    • http://mobiletechpinoy.com/ JM Balicano

      Avoid getting the Pipo M3. Its kernel isn’t properly optimized so the software’s a bit glitchy. The M1 and M2 are very good. So are the S2, S3 and Ultra U1 Pro.

      What I like about most Pipo tabs is that they have bluetooth. Bluetooth is a rare feature on Chinese branded tabs. The only con I can think about is battery life. For their 7 inch tabs, it’s only 3,000mAh compared to the Cherry Mobile Titan TV’s 2,500mAh.

      • recx

        ok, i will take ur advice. anyway, is pipo user-friendly? will buy this for my kids sana. hindi ba ito sirain? ang worry ko kase baka maya madali masira, may service center ba ito sa phils? thanks!

        • http://mobiletechpinoy.com/ JM Balicano

          A friend of mine recently bought an S2. He says the UI is ugly, but that can easily be solved with a Launcher replacement.

          Pipo tablets are only available through small time local importers, not through official distributors and retailers kaya walang service center dito. The only kind of warranty you’ll get is a service warranty probably.

          If you prefer a manufacturer’s warranty, Ainol has an official distributor here.

          • recx

            thank u very much! highly appreciated :)

          • http://mobiletechpinoy.com/ JM Balicano

            No prob :)

  • bov

    hi. working ba ang viber dito? pls reply asap. i would like to buy one. but i need to make sure i can use the apps that i need. tia

  • Ian

    Was wondering if Engage 7HD is a rebrand, do you have any idea?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1190651792 Jm Balicano

      No idea, sorry.

  • Let Guieb

    I just sold my (almost) one year old Samsung Galaxy Tab2 10.1. and bought this one last Sunday, it’s really a good buy. The interface is good, and bluetooth is not an issue for me so I got one.

  • King

    Hi ask lng po if may sim card slot po etong tablet na to? hoping for your response, thanks.

    • JMBalicano

      No this is just a WiFi tab.

  • wiwiwiw

    Pwede kaya ang game controller dito? yung nabibili sa cdr king na playstation controller?saka pwede ba papalitan ko batt nito if nasira?